At the last vet appointment, they said that nice kitty needs to exercise more and eat less or she’s going to be at high risk for type 2 diabetes. She also is so roly poly that she can no longer clean her rear end area. She tries and she just flops over. It’s both amusing and sad at the same time. She also does not appreciate someone else coming after her with a warm wet paper towel to help clean her, though she doesn’t run away very quickly either.
This wasn’t really a problem when we had two (or more) cats. But after Little Kitty died and after my sister’s cats went back home from an extended visit when my sister was traveling for a month we didn’t quite get the automatic food timer set correctly for just one cat. And Nice Kitty was originally a street kitty (from our back yard) and doesn’t seem to be great at self-regulation if food is out. Hard food would pile up, but it would eventually get eaten, except anything that fell to the floor because Nice Kitty is picky and wants things a certain way.
So we cut a feeding off the automatic timer. That didn’t seem to do anything. Hard food still piled up. It still eventually got eaten. Less made it to the floor.
So we cut another feeding off the automatic timer. This one had some bite to it. In the morning about an hour after the food is gone from the early morning feeding, she sings her songs of woe. Can’t you see I’m wasting away, she croons. I haven’t eaten in an hour! She will drag DH over to the feeder and complain loudly about it being broken. She will guide me over to the treat area to hopefully suggest that now would be a great time for treats.
A friend of ours suggested we stave off the complaining during this time with catnip. This seemed to work– she got really into the nip. It reminds me a bit of those late 20th century stories about Hollywood starlets on a bad path in order to be as skinny as the industry tells them to be. “Nothing tastes as good as being able to clean yourself feels,” I tell her. I don’t want to fat shame her, but I also think she should be able to clean her own rear end.
When the timer does go off, she gets the first exercise in (other than lazily rolling around batting at a piece of string she’s been refusing to actually chase) for a long time, racing to her food bowl.
We worry that some of this lethargy is caused by increasing her Prozac prescription after recent pee protests (peetests?) about visiting cats and DH accidentally buying scented instead of unscented litter for three of the four litterboxes. Or not opening the patio door open wide enough in the morning for her to feel confident about using the patio potty. We’re not quite sure what goes on in her kitty head. Maybe it’s just uncomfortable to pee when you haven’t been able to wipe in a long while so DC1’s unfolded clean laundry pile looks like a better place than a litter box. If the peetests stop for a long enough period, we will probably taper back down to every other day. (If the peetests continue, we will take her back to the vet for more tests.)
We don’t want her to lose weight too quickly, of course. And as the weather gets cooler she’ll be more willing to do exercise on her own. I’m also thinking of getting a puzzle ball or some kind of other toy that rewards exercise with hidden treats.
How do you handle feeding your pets?